About Alaa Akhras
Alaa was forcibly disappeared from the Sarujeh area of Damascus on October 5, 2011. He was last seen at 8pm in Sarujeh just as a protest was beginning there. His family has not heard from him since. Alaa is a fourth-year law student.
Enforced disappearances, when systematically perpetrated as in Syria, are considered crimes against humanity under international law, according to the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. According to international law, the fact that such crimes may be committed by third parties does not alter the legal responsibility of the regime because of the regime’s acquiescence to these third parties. In Syria, a group of petty thugs known as “shabiha” was organized in the early 1980s by Walid Othman, father-in-law of Bashar al-Asaad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf. They were given arms and allowed to commit rape, theft, and smuggling without punishment; now they are given free rein to do the regime’s dirty work in terrorizing the protesters and abducting them.
1. Join the Facebook support page for Alaa Akhras.
2. Write for Alaa:
Please use the below sample letter to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Alaa Akhras. The mail should be addressed to the Syrian Embassy in Washington DC, with copies to international foreign ministries worldwide as well as media outlets. Addresses appear below the sample letter.
To the relevant authorities:
I am writing to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Alaa Akhras from detention in Syria’s security system.
Alaa Akhras was forcibly disappeared abducted from the Sarujeh area of Damascus on October 5, 2011. He was last seen at 8pm in Sarujeh; his family has not heard from him since. Enforced disappearances, when systematically perpetrated as in Syria, are considered crimes against humanity under international law, according to the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
In addition, torture is illegal in Syria, both under international law as well as according to Article 28 (3) of the Syrian Constitution. The Penal Code of Syria stipulates punishment for anyone inflicting torture on a person. Syria’s security system is thus fully responsible for the safety, health and well-being of Alaa Akhras.
I hold the Syrian government responsible for the safe return of Alaa Akhras, and for all prisoners of conscience and political prisoners currently held in Syria’s detention and prison system, or at any other location. All such detainees should be released immediately and without condition.
ADDRESSES (copy & paste into your email address line):
To (Syrian Embassy in Washington DC): email@example.com
cc (Foreign Ministries worldwide): firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, DNZPC.Sekretariat@msz.gov.pl, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
cc (various media outlets): firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Bruce.Wallace@latimes.com, Mark.McGonigle@latimes.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
* Photos and biography of Alaa Akhras provided by Dr. Mohja Kahf.